you'll hang for that, Barry Whittaker!

Australian miner frames father's tattooed skin

An Australian miner has framed his dad's skin, complete with tattoos, and is hanging it in the dining room. Carl Whittaker's father, Barry, asked for the four tattoos on his back and arms to be removed and preserved following his death from cancer in 1999.

The tattoos - including a large image of an eagle entangled with a snake that once adorned Barry's back - now hang in his son's home.

Mr Whittaker, 31, admits reactions to the memento are mixed: "You've got your fors and againsts, and a lot of people are quite horrified by it all - they look and say 'Oh my God'. The people that know me just know it was out of respect for my old man, because he ... was my best mate."

Mr Whittaker, who lives in Mackay in northern Queensland, said his father got the tattoos when he was terminally ill and asked in his will that they be removed and saved after his death.

A taxidermist was employed to remove them and a company agreed to tan the skin. "I thought it was a bit on the wild side myself," Mr Whittaker said. "But that's what he wanted, and I had a lot of respect for the man, so I did it." "I suppose it preserves his memory," he added.

Mr Whittaker says his wife did not object, and he hopes to pass the memorial on to his daughter, who is now 15 months old.

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7 Responses:

  1. slithytove says:

    I wonder if he was thinking of the final verse of this song by Rolf Harris, 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport':

    "Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred
    Tan me hide when I'm dead."
    So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde
    And that's it hangin' on the shed!
    Altogether now!


  2. kyronfive says:

    I'm not usually squeamish, but that's gross...

  3. iberianbear says:

    He could still keep them OUTSIDE his house.

  4. osmosys says:


    where do you find this stuff?

  5. half of the reason i got my tattoos
    was cause i ain't permament
    and neither are they.

  6. zoratu says:

    Proving once again that Queensland is the Alabama of Australia.

  7. scarletkiss says:

    See I think that's sweet... I'll be getting my first tattoo in a month or two and it's going to be based on the memory faith, hope, and the knowledge the life goes on. If that's what his father wanted I think people should respect the fact that man loved his old man that much. I applause the depth of love he has for his father.